Robo Troop, Robo Girls shine at Lego Mindstorms Challenge

Step inside the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland office, 360 Lexington Road in Wichita, and you’ll find creative and colorful displays made by Robo Troop and Robo Girls, along with two trophies made of Legos.

What you won’t see, however, is the hours upon hours of hard work the Girl Scouts in Robo Troop and Robo Girls put in to prepare for the 14th annual Lego Mindstorms Challenge on March 8 at Wichita State University.

Their hard work paid off, as the Robo Troop took third place in the intermediate division and also placed first in Spirit and Sportsmanship. All of the Girl Scouts use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills, along with teamwork, sportsmanship and communication.

Those skills are imperative as they construct robots by using Lego NXT kits. Then, they try to score the most points by running their robots through an obstacle course during competition.

“It encourages girls to embrace STEM and gives them a safe, all-girl environment where they can learn about STEM and not feel afraid to ask questions,” leader Allison Wright said of Robo Troop and Robo Girls.

The two teams are made up of girls from different cities in Kansas, including Wichita, El Dorado, Rose Hill and Halstead. They meet throughout the year, but their competition season is from January through March, Wright said.

This year, the Robo Girls’ hard work was recognized during competition when they were selected to go on a flight simulator with Flight Safety, a wonderful opportunity for the team, Wright noted.

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Robo Troop includes: Emily Alumbaugh, Brittany Ayres-Welch, Alexa Blair, Cleona Craig, Debi Fiegenbaum, Emily Gerhardt, Larissa Guerrero, Ashley Lieber, Fallon Million, Madison Morrill, Josie Trout, and Katlyn Williams.

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Robo Girls includes: Tori Coccanoeur, Lilly Dolezal, Isabelle Haahr, Jenna McFall, Story Million, Jemima Million and Emma Morrill.

For more information, call the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland at (316) 684-6531 or email robotroop@gmail.com.

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